Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welfare Bashing, Gordon Campbell's view.


Gordon Campbell writes about the welfare bashing approach of the Welfare Working Group.

The government’s welfare working group has dutifully delivered the findings the government wants to hear. To Paula Rebstock and her colleagues, being on welfare is primarily a failure of attitude by beneficiaries – and has little or nothing to do with failures by government or business to create jobs, or with cutbacks to Social Welfare staff, or with any other structural factor beyond the education system – which gets a few lumps for not providing business with the kind of drones it needs to fit into the job slots available, assuming such slots existed, which they currently don’t........

The panel pays so little attention to events in the real world – newsflash : the job market has not yet recovered from the worst economic recession since WW11, and that global recession seems about to recur..........

Back in April, Scoop examined in depth the welfare insurance system in Canada, that Rebstock seems so smitten by. In practice in Canada, this has led to a tightening of eligibility and the shedding of government responsibility for welfare – and not so incidentally, the scheme has also served as a mechanism for improving the state of the government’s books. Most of the benefit costs of welfare are not only transferred out of the state system, but the fund that builds up also gets counted as a plus on the books, thus potentially lowering the cost of borrowing. No wonder the government is keen on it.

If a less doctrinaire approach was being taken, Rebstock and Co would be looking for ways in which government could create jobs – by say, investing in state housing construction, given the pressing social needs in this area.......
Clearly, if the government really wanted to improve welfare outcomes, it shouldn’t be firing the Social Welfare staff who made those previous gains possible. It would also be looking at the nationwide provision of affordable childcare .......

But this working group is not engaged in a genuine consultation. It is on a journey towards pre-determined solutions.

For the full article go to:

http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/08/09/gordon-campbell-on-welfare-bashing-afghanistan/

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